Uber's Self Driving SUV Should Have Spotted Woman According to Experts


49-year-old Elaine Herzberg has been seen on dash-cam footage released following her fatal run in with a self-driving Uber car. Herzberg is walking her bicycle across a dark street, only seen by the headlights seconds before impact. Reverse footage shows the backup human driver looking down until seconds before the crash. 

Tempe Police Chief Sylvia Moir has explained that the SUV likely would not have been found at fault for the accident. However, two experts reviewed the video footage and told the Associated Press that even though Herzberg was walking in the dark, the sensors on the vehicle should have spotted her and her bicycle with enough time to brake. 

“The victim did not come out of nowhere. She’s moving on a dark road, but it’s an open road, so Lidar (laser) and radar should have detected and classified her” as a human, said Bryant Walker Smith, a University of South Carolina law professor who studies autonomous vehicles. 

Smith said the video may not show the complete picture, but “this is strongly suggestive of multiple failures of Uber and its system, its automated system, and its safety driver.” 

Smith believes that the human driver is relying too much on the self-driving feature and not doing the intended job he's required to as the second level of security. 

“The safety driver is clearly relying on the fact that the car is driving itself. It’s the old adage that if everyone is responsible no one is responsible,” Smith said. “This is everything gone wrong that these systems, if responsibly implemented, are supposed to prevent.” 

Read the full report at the Associated Press 


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